Two Courts

It’s all over now but the protests. Zimmerman was let go. Thanks to legal maneuvering and forcing the jury to consider what happened “at that moment,” a killer walked.

Many are outraged. Many defend Zimmerman. Nobody is talking about the real problem in this whole situation.

There are two justice systems in this country— the one for white people and the one for minorities. If a black man tracked down, confronted and then killed an unarmed white teenager, do you think he’d be going home that night? Do you think Trayvon Martin would have got to go home if he killed Zimmerman?

If you say “yes” to either one of those questions and honestly believe it, then you are woefully ignorant about the realities in this country, and I mean ignorant like the white folk who were shocked to learn that, as Dave Chappelle put it, police were beating up negroes like hotcakes.

Then there’s ignorance like Richard Cohen, who recently wrote a column in the Washington Post about how Zimmerman should have chased Martin because Martin was a black man.

His column highlights the problem, which is this unspoken belief among many whites that if African Americans are commonly at fault for crime, then police should be allowed to center on them and profile them.

Well that belief can be debunked quite quickly with simple logic. If all you ever look for is African American suspects, it pretty much guarantees that only African Americans are arrested. If you only target a particular group, you’ll only find that particular group at fault, even when they’re not. That’s why racial profiling is against the law.

I worked as a newspaper reporter for the better part of a decade and have sat through dozens upon dozens of criminal trials. It doesn’t take long to see the disparity between minorities and whites in the system.

When white people are processed in criminal courts, juries are more likely to give them due consideration during deliberations. Even if a jury finds a white defendant guilty, they usually take their time. And if they’re found guilty, they usually will get probation or a light prison sentence.

When a minority is on trial, deliberation takes less than two hours and it’s almost always guilty. They’re punishments are almost always heavy.

Now I hear the screams from those in the denial balcony, “What about O.J. Simpson? What about Michael Jackson?”

Easy. You see, they had money, unlike most minority defendants. As we saw with George Zimmerman, good attorneys really help.

White defendants usually have better attorneys, many of whom they can afford to hire. Minorities usually have court-appointed attorneys, who have logjam dockets.

Cohen says that we shouldn’t be ashamed to look at urban crime and recognize that most of the suspects are minorities. I feel that maybe we should have the courage to look at the larger picture and work towards a solution rather than just pretend that there’s not a systemic problem with race and the criminal justice system

As I read through Cohen’s disgusting article, one thought kept churning in my mind. It’s that thought that I’m going to use to punctuate my article.

White people have destroyed,dominated, enslaved or outright slaughtered every culture it has ever come into contact with. Native Americans, Africans, Indians, etc. etc. For us to look at African Americans and say “we should focus on them, THEY’RE violent” is absolute hubris.

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